I know we are all depressed about the recent loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bills have dropped to 10th in the AFC and are now 5-6. Until yesterday I was under the mindset that the Bills are cooked. Today though is a new day, and I am rejuvenated. The Bills are alive…after all, 5th place is only 6-5 right now, so why give up hope being 1 game out with 5 to go?
There is little I like more than thinking about playoff scenarios. I decided to look at each remaining team’s schedule that is 5-6 or better to see, realistically, where the Bills could end up.
A few assumptions I am making: The Bills will finish 9-7, however their one loss will be against an NFC opponent…don’t care which one, but ideally Dallas for purposes of strength of victory which is probably a tie breaker at some point.
Here it goes…
Kansas City: Currently 6-5 (5-2 vs. AFC); @OAK, vs. SD, @ Balt, vs. Cle, vs. Oak. The Chiefs will be favored in every single one of these games and it is very possible they could win out. I am going to assume they win each of these games to finish an astonishing 11-5 after winning 10 games in a row, with a conference record of 10-2. They lock up the 5th seed (or AFC West champions, which isn’t totally impossible)
Houston Texans: Currently 6-5 (4-3); @ BUF, vs. NE, @ IND, @ TEN, vs. JAX. Houston will be underdogs in their next three games. We will assume they lose to Buffalo and New England and win their last three (though will be underdogs against the Colts). This will put them at 9-7 (7-5), tied with the Bills but behind the Bills based on head to head (though they could win the division if they beat the Colts but the Bills beat the Colts as well so could be a similar situation with them)
NY Jets: Currently 6-5 (5-4); “@” NYG, vs. TEN, @ DAL, vs. NE, @ BUF. The Jets have a pretty easy schedule remaining. We will assume the Jets lose one game the rest of the way only until the Bills game. They will be 9-6 going into the Bills game, however after losing to the Bills, they will be 9-7 and eliminating based on being swept by the Bills (divisional tiebreaker is first tiebreaker if more than 2 teams tied for WC spot)
PIT: Currently 6-5 (3-4); vs. Colts, @ CINCI, vs. Denver, @Baltimore, @ Cleveland. Not an overly difficult schedule for the Steelers. Let’s assume the Bengals beat the Steelers. Then let’s assume the Steelers only lose one other game to get to 9-7 and 6-6 in the conference.
OAK: Currently 5-6 (5-3); vs. KC, @ Denver, vs. Green Bay, vs. SD, @ KC. To be conservative let’s assume Oakland splits vs. KC and loses either to Green Bay or Denver. That would put them at 8-8 and out.
Alright so where does this leave us?
KC 11-5 (or 10-6 if split with Oakland), with a 10-2 (or 9-3) conference record
Houston, Jets, Steelers, Bills all 9-7. The Jets would be eliminated based on the divisional tiebreaker vs. the Bills. So the Bills, Texans and Steelers are all tied at 9-7. The Steelers have a 6-6 record in conference so they are out as Buffalo and Houston have a 7-5 conference record.
Now, you have two teams tied, Buffalo and Houston...and since Buffalo defeated Houston...they would be IN as the 6 seed!!
So what does all this prove? Absolutely nothing…other than the Bills are alive!